About the Build

This is a lovely self-build residential project in Frome where we are helping the client build a small family home. It’s a single story, load bearing timber frame, straw bale infill project. 

The straw element is slightly different to our norm on this build as we are using the C.U.T  (Cells Under Tension) technique.  

The house has a small roundwood framing element, lime render externally and clay plaster internally.

About the Course

Week 3 of this course will run for 5 days from Monday July 5th to Friday July 9th inclusive

More detailed information will be issued prior to the start date but the curriculum is as follows....

Practical Elements of Roofing and Straw Insulation Include:

  • Box rafter locating and raising
  • Ceiling boarding
  • Straw insulation infill
  • Woodfibre insulation
  • Membranes
  • Roof finishes

Theory Elements Include:

  • History and theory of roofing
  • Natural insulations
  • Airtight vs windtight

Why are Hartwyn courses different?

We are creating opportunities for you to acclimatise to a real-life natural building site that is high-spec, low-carbon, best-practice and professional.

The goal here is to provide you with the knowledge to progress in the craft and eventually move into the industry should you wish.

This is a 2-way-street. We have the same responsibility to you as if you were a member of the company and we expect this to mean that you treat us the same. You're in a real-life environment and a real build, not a sanitised or artificial training experience.

If you have specific curriculum questions please do email us and ask.


  • 1

    Course Information Documents

    • Welcome Pack

    • COVID Onsite Policy

    • Risk Assessment

    • Site Induction

  • 2


    • Classroom Handouts

    • Classroom Slides

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for those with some experience of building work and those want to progress in the industry. It is not suitable for complete novices. Please only purchase the course if you can answer 'yes' to all of these questions:

  • Do you have experience operating conventional carpentry hand and power tools?
  • Are you able to work unsupervised on basic carpentry tasks?
  • Do you have experience following H&S directions?

Click the Button to Enroll

(6 places available)


Joe Duirwyn

With a strong background in conventional building, Joe has consistently worked towards a more integrated approach where low carbon materials and heritage trades walk hand-in-hand with modern building science. A natural materials advocate and building science geek, Joe is passionate about pushing the conversation forward and moving the industry towards the zero carbon targets it needs to meet.


  • Will there be both practical and classroom elements?

    As with all our courses, there will be practical and classroom elements, giving as in-depth an experience as possible. Each day will be practically based, with toolbox talks and pertinent theory. The classroom elements will be presented across the week after the working day and vary from week to week.

  • What about COVID?

    We will be taking precautions onsite and asking people to take a lateral flow test prior to the course. Standby places and partial refunds will be in place. See our COVID policy at hartwyn.co.uk/onsitecovidpolicy.pdf and ask us for more details if you're unsure.

  • Are there any discounts available?

    If you purchase one week unit of any of the units on this build, you will be eligible for a code to receive 10% (£35) off any subsequent unit for the entire build. If you wish to buy both at once then please do so, we will refund you immediately. We are also offering £20 cashback for anyone staying away from home who travels to the course by bicycle or public transport. There is also the option to pay for the course in 2 monthly instalments.

  • Is accomodation included?

    No. You will be responsible for your own room and board. There is a nearby campsite which we have contacted in advance and we are happy to help organise this. Prices are £50 for the week (5 nights) for tent dwellers and £75 for vehicles. There will be a welfafe space onsite with refreshment facilities and a basic kitchen area.

  • Do I have to bring anything?

    You will need steel toecap footwear and a basic toolkit (toolbelt, knife, hammer, measuring tape) but other tools will be provided. We will provide other PPE (masks, gloves, eye protection and hardhats) but it's recommended to bring your own for a better fit and COVID safety. Full details will be provided well in advance of the start date.

  • Is food included?

Click the Button to Enroll

(6 places available)